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Gatland accuses All Blacks of ‘blocking’

  • 19 Jun 2017
Warren Gatland Warren Gatland

British & Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has urged officials to crack down on the All Blacks’ illegal blocking tactics.

Gatland says his players are repeatedly being held or pulled back off the ball. He has raised the issue with Jaco Peyper, who will referee the first Test in Auckland on Saturday.

'It makes it difficult to complete attacking opportunities because there is so much happening off the ball in terms of holding players or subtly holding players,' he said.

'We’ve raised it with the ref already. If you listen to the ref’s mic they were talking about it constantly through the game [against the New Zealand Maori on Saturday] and gave us a couple of penalties for blocking. It’s one of the hardest things to pick up because it tends to happen quite a long way off the ball.

'We’ll keep raising it, because it was picked up on a couple of occasions, [on Saturday] they stopped doing it as much. That made it a lot easier for us to get up in the air and to compete. In a couple of games we haven’t been able to get up in the air because there has been that interference.'

WATCH: Highlights of NZ Maori vs Lions

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

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